AA.MEDIA

Architectural Association
Media Studies


AA MEDIA is an experimental testing ground for exploring and interrogating the tools of the discipline – tools with which we speculate, manipulate and play; compute, control and test; communicate, seduce, and provoke.

Acting as both training camp and laboratory, it is a diverse, multidisciplinary program where unexpected collisions and obsessive attention to detail expose a rich seam of creative potential. Media Studies presents an opportunity to develop individual practice, where students hone their dexterity with established and progressive media, actively testing modes of production through focused acts of doing and making.



CONTACT:

Kate Davies
Head of Media Studies
Inigo Minns
Acting Department Head
Oliviu Lugojan-Ghenciu
Lab Coordinator

AA MEDIA
Architectural Association
School of Architecture
36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES

+44 (0)20 7887 4000

STUDIO

INTERMEDIATE / Term 1

MS-CORE



TERMINAL AA: FUTURE BORDER CTRL

Nicholas Mortimer/ Joseph Popper
Weds, 10-1pm, 33 First Floor Front

We are living in a time when a multitude of borders are emerging, morphing or disappearing.
The spaces that lie between different countries, worlds, states of mind and decisions are thresholds
that can provide critical reflection on a whole host of subjects - allowing us to speculate on the outcome of varying topics.

This course uses a hands-on approach to design through physical prototyping and acting out ideas at 1:1 scale. It introduces critical and speculative design methods to explore near future scenarios. A speculative visual essay will be produced to engage with emerging narratives surrounding the future of ‘borders’ and ‘control’.

“Welcome to Future Border Ctrl - A near future scenario that situates a group of characters who are attempting to cross the Neuro-Asia Border into an economic and data safe zone - a border that they have all been denied access to. The Border is situated in a regency building in London, and leads to an international safe zone, where new forms of citizenship and other valuable assets can be applied for, bought or sold.

These characters embody a possible future where movements in the real and digital world become continually shaped by external forces, and where the notion of seeking solitude in another place can be seen to extend from a present day global situation. We ask you to respond to this open proposition and build narratives, by designing characters and fabricating prototypes and props. Your character will embody the shifting political, cultural and technological implications of the fluid nature of both physical borders and digital frontiers.”



Course Outline

Session 1: INTRO/IDENTITY DOCUMENTS
Wednesday 5th Oct
After a short introduction we will delve straight into the creation of an ID document.
Perhaps this is a version of the passport updated, or a more nuanced and future driven identity technology. This prop will allow us to think about the design of a character within a speculative scenario. Who is your character? Where are they from? Why do they want to cross the border? Are they Human?

Session 2: LUGGAGE :THE SMUGGLED OBJECT / MACGUFFIN
Wednesday 12th Oct
We will concentrate on the design and building of a narrative object. A package that is to be smuggled across a border, either money, technology or a more ethereal entity.
The choice of this object will again add to the creation of a designed narrative. What is precious? Who is the object for? Why is this an important item? Where does the object belong?

Session 3: COMMUNICATIONS
Wednesday 19th Oct
Will look at the use of communications technology in the narrative of crossing borders.
Today mobile phones help refugees to make contact with relatives or rescue services.
These devices will be of great importance to the understanding of your character and the context in which they operate. Is this will it be a shiny new interface? or a homemade contraption?

Session 4: WEARABLE
Wednesday 26th Oct
Explore the clothes and apparel of your character. On a journey across the border, what will they be wearing? Are they in disguise? Are they looking to stay invisible in a crowd, or to be hiding in plain sight? Design and make a wearable piece which helps set the scene for the border encounter. What is a disguise? Clothes or Armour? What is important for the journey?

OPEN WEEK

Session 5: SURVIVAL
Wednesday 9th Nov
Focus on the topic of survival - the items or elements that can suggest a perilous journey. This could be an existing or speculative danger, depending on the journey that your character has had to embark on. What constitutes survival? Parachutes or Maps?
Food or battery power? Medicine or internet connection?

Session 6: PHASE 2 BORDER CONSTRUCTION
Wednesday 16th Nov
We will shift attention to the construction of a larger scenario - the actual border crossing. Looking at generic designed encounters we will work together to create x-ray machines, eye scanners, police booths or any other large scale items that can form a prototype set for a story to play out in.

Session 7: SET BUILD CONSTRUCTION OF A TOTAL SCENE
Wednesday 23rd Nov
The culmination of the course - a final session where the whole group will piece together all of their built objects and props to create a collaborative final set. The final photoshoot will produce a closing image for each of you to curate in order to complete your speculative visual essay.

Session 8: PRESENTATION
Wednesday 30th Nov
Documentation and Booklets